Mmmmm….meatballs. Everybody loves meatballs.
Baked turkey meatballs are one of my go-to weeknight dinner standbys. And since they freeze beautifully, I almost always double the recipe for leftovers. Speaking of leftovers, baking your meatballs is definitely the way to go if you are planning on freezing the meatballs for later.
Super Easy Clean Up!
For weeknights, I also like the much-less-messy baking method over the simmering alternative. If you make your baked turkey meatballs on parchment paper clean up is a snap!
Baked Turkey Meatballs (with Tabbouleh!)
I’ve been making my turkey meatballs with tabbouleh for so long that I don’t even remember where I got the idea to use tabbouleh in the first place. All I know is that as long as you have tabbouleh on hand, it is the secret ingredient for the easiest and most flavorful meatballs ever.
Using tabbouleh is also a great way to work phytonutrients, fiber and antioxidants into your meatballs.
Make Sure Your Tabbouleh is Made with a “Clean” Oil
An authentic Tabbouleh made with extra virgin olive oil is an incredibly healthy food. However, if you are not making your own tabbouleh and you are also trying to eat clean, then you need to make sure the brand you buy does not contain refined oil. A lot of popular store-bought tabbouleh brands, such as Hannah and “All-Natural” Cedars Taboule, are made with refined oils. Most typically, sunflower oil is the refined oil found in store-bought brands (both Hannah and Cedars contain sunflower oil.)
If you cannot locate a “clean” tabbouleh brand, it is easy enough to make your own. You can’t go wrong with Ina Garten’s classic Tabbouleh recipe.
And finally, since you probably won’t be eating a dinner of just baked turkey meatballs I figured I would say a few words about choosing a tomato sauce and pasta.
If you want to make your own, this Garlicky Cherry Tomato Sauce Recipe has to be one of the easiest and most flavorful. But if you are looking to save time and go with store-bought, the best brand (in my opinion), is Rao’s.
Since the Tabbouleh used in the baked turkey meatballs is not gluten-free, I am assuming anyone using this recipe can tolerate gluten. However, if you want a gluten-free pasta, I suggest Ancient Harvest Organic Supergrain Spaghetti.
It’s not gluten-free, but in our family we often go for Nature’s Legacy brand Organic Spelt Angel Hair. Spelt is an ancient grain and is easier to digest for most people than wheat.
Side Note…Gluten-Free Not Working Out?
If you have our Clean Cuisine book, you know we are one of the few who promote an anti-inflammatory diet but are also not gluten-free (assuming you don’t have celiac disease.) If you have gone gluten-free but still don’t have 100% relief from bothersome symptoms (such as abdominal bloating, gas, IBS, etc), it may be because it’s not the gluten.
It could be the fructans.
Fructans are a specific type of carbohydrate found in wheat but also in onions, garlic, jicama, artichokes and inulin (chicory root fiber) – a food additive used widely in packaged foods.
The “spelt litmus test” is gaining in popularity as a way to find out whether it is really the gluten—or the fructans. This is a great article in US News & World Report that goes into more detail on the matter.
Or Just Go With Vegetable Pasta…
Of course you can always just skip the grains and go with vegetable pasta instead! Zucchini Pasta and Butternut Squash Noodles are my two favorites!
Tabbouleh is the secret (and unexpected!) ingredient that makes these baked turkey meatballs incredibly moist and delicious.
- 1 pound pasture-raised ground turkey
- 10 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 cup Tabbouleh (made with extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 organic (pasture-raised egg (such as Vital Farms), whisked)
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- Extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the ground turkey, garlic, tabbouleh, egg and salt (Note: Be careful not to over mix the meatballs.)
- Use a small ice cream scoop to form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Arrange meatballs on parchment paper. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
LOOKING FOR MORE CLEAN EATING DINNER RECIPES?
If you liked the Baked Turkey Meatballs, be sure to check out a full month’s menu of delicious healthy dinner recipes (including weekly shopping lists!) in our Clean Cuisine Dinners digital cookbook.